SOME EFFECTS OF REFRIGERATED STORAGE ON POSTHARVEST QUALITY OF RIPE FRUITS OF THE TROPICAL, PURPLE-FRUITED PITANGA (EUGENIA UNIFLORA L.)
Pitanga (Eugenia uniflora L.) has been produced on a small commercial scale in Hawaii and Brazil for some years and the plants themselves are popular as ornamental hedges in both Southern Florida and many other places. Until recently, purple-fruited selections of pitanga have not been widely known or grown. It has been determined that purple pitanga fruits have substantially higher levels of certain desirable antioxidants than the common red-fruited types and that they generally have superior flavor as well. Unfortunately, the non-climacteric pitanga fruits should only be harvested at their visual and organoleptic optimum. They are highly perishable and have a short shelf life that limits marketability and potential expansion of demand. Because the pitanga has a long folk history in Brazil as a medicinal plant, considerable analysis has been performed on the effects of refrigeration on the organic constituents of the foliage. However, very little is known about the effects of postharvest refrigeration and storage on the physical or chemical qualities of the purple fruits. Our initial experiments with refrigerated storage of ripe, purple pitanga fruits in both Hawaii and Florida lead us to believe that pitanga fruits may tolerate standard cold storage environment longer than expected and still retain market acceptability. Visual appearance, taste, moisture content and chemical constituents of purple fruits after varying periods of cold storage are all being evaluated. Changes in volatile chemical components during storage can substantially change the taste of the fresh fruits. Our selection and characterization of purple-fruited pitanga cultivars with high levels of desirable antioxidant, pleasing flavor profile and postharvest storability is in progress.
Griffis, Jr., J.L., McDonald, T.G., Manners, M.M. and Bingham, J.P. (2015). SOME EFFECTS OF REFRIGERATED STORAGE ON POSTHARVEST QUALITY OF RIPE FRUITS OF THE TROPICAL, PURPLE-FRUITED PITANGA (EUGENIA UNIFLORA L.). Acta Hortic. 1088, 113-118
pitangueira, Brazilian cherry, Surinam cherry, Myrtaceae